When Should I Hire a Wedding Planner?
The sooner the better, but there are exceptions. If you want to have your pick of top wedding professionals, hiring a planner before selecting your venue is beneficial. This way, you can select the best fit to work with you on your big day without worrying about availability constraints your planner may already have. Another benefit (depending on the package you choose), your planner can assist you with venue selection and how to make the best choices when it comes to vendors (see our blog on venue selection for additional tips!).
Cons of Hiring a Planner Too Late
Expert wedding planners can assist you by looking at the full picture of your event and taking into consideration things such as budget, guest count, transportation, and style when guiding you through venue and vendor selection. Planners are well versed in budgeting and will have general percentages and price ranges that you should stay within for certain vendors. As a previous venue manager, I had too many clients who allocated a disproportionate percentage of their budget on the venue of their dreams, without considering all of the costs for rentals, catering, and alcohol. They were forced to cut costs drastically or expand their budget. If these couples had a professional assisting them prior to venue selection, they would have had a realistic view of what they could afford and saved themselves immense stress.
When You Should Wait To Hire a Planner
If you do have a specific venue in mind, have done all the background research and have a comfortable budget for the venue, it may make sense to select your coordinator post venue selection. This may be the case for couples who would prefer to work with a planner that is well versed in working at their top choice venue. The benefits here are that your event coordinator has extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of your specific venue and can guide you easily through the planning process.
Planner Selection Typically Should Be First
Outside of the above scenario, it is always best for selecting your event planner to be one of your first items on your wedding checklist. Your planner will have the insight and knowledge of working in the industry for years and can offer priceless guidance and tips. Even if you are only planning on having a day- of coordinator, they will typically give you an outline to assist during the planning process and be available for quick questions or vendor tips if you get stuck along the way. Hiring a coordinator for your once-in-a-lifetime day, is one of the most important decisions you will make during your engagement and it should be thought out and timed correctly for the biggest impact on your event. We love having the opportunity to work with our couples from the start so we can counsel them during all of their crucial wedding decisions.